It was revealed in a Bloomberg report yesterday that, amongst other big revelations regarding Sony’s approach to game-making, Naughty Dog is currently working on a remake for The Last of Us.
“A remake of a readily-available, best-selling, triple-A game, that’s not even a decade old, and is playable on three generations of consoles? What is this madness?! Why are Sony and Naughty Dog wasting their time and resources like this?”
These are all the arguments that I’ve seen presented online since the news broke, and although I do understand where a lot of them are coming from and even agree in some cases, I also think that there’s a lot to be said for a remake of The Last of Us.
I’ll be completely honest- before the news broke, I wouldn’t have expected, or wanted, a remake of The Last of Us for quite some time. All of the claims that it’s far too young of a game are kind of correct, and it’s the sort of thing I would have expected to see another console generation away. I also don’t think it’s something that many people were actively asking for. Hell, I’ve seen more cries for a PS5 update to the sequel than I have people clamouring for a remake of the first game.
That’s coming from someone who’s played the original through on every difficulty and did the same for the sequel. I’m the last (of us) person who would want to go through the adventure another time, but the idea of re-doing it with Part 2’s phenomenal gameplay systems is an enticing one indeed. The more I think about it, the more I want it.
Let’s start by looking at the facts. According to Jason Schrier’s report, the remake is being made by a team at Naughty Dog currently and will take the gameplay and graphics from the second game and retrofit them into the first. The rest of the details are slim at the moment, but we at least know that the gameplay is going to be changed.
The Last of Us is a good-looking game, but it can certainly look even better. Going through that adventure again with even better graphics, and better-realised environments is certainly going to be a treat. You also have to understand that quite a lot of the work that’s needed for The Last of Us has already been done. I can’t imagine the story and scenarios are going to change all that much and updated models of the characters already exist thanks to the flashback sections of Part II, so it’s really going to be more about updating the environments and gameplay. That’s still a lot of work, don’t get me wrong, but a surprising amount of the workload is already done, thanks to Part II, so it makes sense to carry that on.
Although the graphical side of things is certainly exciting, it’s the gameplay changes that really excite me here. Everyone is so focused on Part II’s stories and controversies that they often fail to mention how much the gameplay has been improved from the first game. It’s night and day. Combat feels much snappier, movement is practically perfect as you duck, dive and squeeze yourself around the battlefield and the way Naughty Dog has crafted the world is much less game-like than it was in the first entry, with fewer arenas and more thoughtful locations. If you combine that with the improved enemy AI and better gunplay, you’ve got a huge improvement on the original The Last of Us.
To put it simply, The Last of Us is a game that’s aged surprisingly fast in its mechanics. The story is still incredibly sound, but replaying the game now is a little more awkward than you might think it is, with far too many frustrating moments for a title that is often regarded as one of the best of all time. Updating it to iron out those issues, make it look up to par with the sequel, and genuinely improve the gameplay just makes a ton of sense. Imagine getting rid of some of those pallet sections!
More so than any other game I can think of in recent memory, it also makes a lot of sense to play The Last of Us in tandem with Part II. If Sony wants future gamers to experience the full story, it makes sense for them to put them both up to the same standard and let them reign as one of the best gaming stories in some time. These two titles really are just one bigger story, so it absolutely makes sense to put them together in terms of quality.
I think a lot of the problem comes from how Sony is handling the rest of that story right now. Its treatment of Sony Bend, its focus on big blockbusters only, and its attitude towards smaller titles is genuinely hard to hear. I love Sony’s smaller titles as much as I do their bigger ones (Sly Cooper for life!), and to see them take this path is disheartening.
Speaking of Sly Cooper, none of this is to say that I think a remake of The Last of Us should be Sony, or Naughty Dog’s, focus right now. I, like all of you, would much rather see new games, remakes of much older games or even new entries in long-forgotten series. I would love a new Twisted Metal, a Jak 4, a Sly Cooper reboot, and pretty much anything from Sony’s back-catalogue. All I’m saying is that a remake of The Last of Us does make a lot of sense, will serve to improve a beloved game, and is far from the worst thing that Sony is doing right now. If this is already happening, then you might as well look at it as positively as possible. If you can’t beat them, join them.
- Game News
- The Last Of Us
- The Last Of Us Part II
- Naughty Dog
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